When I’m not dressed up in my tuxedo for my role as a ringmaster for a fundraiser I have several passions I really enjoy pursuing. One of them is skiing. You might say my skill level is somewhere between Picabo Street and Foster Brooks.
A few years back I was out west on one of my ski vacations when my wife and I decided to attend the grand opening of an art gallery featuring the works of Michael Godard. Godard is considered one of the most prolific and influential artists of our time and has appeared on several television shows. His paintings are coveted by the rich and famous – and even the Pentagon has one of his masterpieces proudly displayed. These are all facts I did not know at the time.
During the course of the evening Godard did a painting which the gallery was going to auction with the proceeds going to charity. One of my friends who was attending the event with us confided to Godard that a professional auctioneer was in the house, and if he wanted, would be willing to auction the piece for him.
Godard agreed and I was motioned to the front of the room. I quickly stepped into character and began the auction. Within minutes it sold for $4,500. The crowd was truly surprised and amazed since they were only hoping to raise $1,000.
Sometimes you just got to marvel at the miracle of life and the unexpected roads it takes you down. I was all fired up for heading down – a hill. The day ended with a worthwhile charity benefitting from an artist I didn’t even know. And it all happened – not in my traditional colorful vest – but in a rather bland ski sweater